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Open AccessArticle

The Reciprocal Association between Problem Gambling and Mental Health Symptoms/Substance Use: Cross-Lagged Path Modelling of Longitudinal Cohort Data

1
Faculty of Health, School of Psychology, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria 3220, Australia
2
Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3053, Australia
3
Centre for Adolescent Health, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Royal Children’s Hospital, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia
4
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, School of Population Health, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(11), 1888; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8111888
Received: 21 September 2019 / Revised: 29 October 2019 / Accepted: 30 October 2019 / Published: 6 November 2019
To date, studies have highlighted cross-sectional and unidirectional prospective relationships between problem gambling and mental health symptoms or substance use. The current study aims to: (1) examine the reciprocal relationships between problem gambling and mental health symptoms (depression, generalized anxiety)/substance use variables (hazardous alcohol use, daily tobacco use, and drug use) using cross-lagged path models in a prospective general population cohort sample; and (2) determine whether these associations are moderated by age and gender. This study involved secondary data analysis from 1109 respondents who provided data during Wave 2 or 3 (12-months apart) of the Tasmanian Longitudinal Gambling Study (Australia). Depression (odds ratio (OR) = 2.164) and generalized anxiety (OR = 2.300) at Wave 2 were found to have cross-lagged associations with the subsequent development of any-risk gambling (low-risk, moderate-risk, or problem gambling) at Wave 3. Hazardous alcohol use, daily tobacco use, and drug use at Wave 2 were not associated with the development of any-risk gambling at Wave 3. Any-risk gambling at Wave 2 was not associated with the subsequent development of any mental health symptoms or substance use variables at Wave 3. Age and gender failed to be significant moderators in the associations between any-risk gambling and mental health symptoms or substance use variables. Future longitudinal and event-level research is required to further substantiate these prospective relationships, with a view to developing targeted preventions and interventions. View Full-Text
Keywords: problem gambling; gambling; mental health; substance use; depression; anxiety; alcohol; drug; cross-lagged path models; longitudinal; prospective problem gambling; gambling; mental health; substance use; depression; anxiety; alcohol; drug; cross-lagged path models; longitudinal; prospective
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Dowling, N.A.; Butera, C.A.; Merkouris, S.S.; Youssef, G.J.; Rodda, S.N.; Jackson, A.C. The Reciprocal Association between Problem Gambling and Mental Health Symptoms/Substance Use: Cross-Lagged Path Modelling of Longitudinal Cohort Data. J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8, 1888.

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